The Midgard Saga.

Chapter 1: a recap

In which friends are betrayed

Our story began with Oscar the drunk, Asmund the priest, Bjorg the storyteller, and Ara the curious half elf.
Gnari notified them of some disturbances around the farms on the north edge of the village. The party went to investigate, and hiding in the crops they found three orcs. The orcs were dispatched swiftly, and the party followed their tracks to a cave.
Despite an initial dissonance in communication, the orcs finally managed to explain to the party their fear of the cave, and the party entered, only to find pale, corpse-like creatures feasting on the dead remains of an orc. They killed the creatures, and the orcs promised to not attack the village again, now that their foes were dead.
The party returned home, and informed Gnari of this, and he then sent them to the docks, where sailors had been reporting missing persons. They said that anyone who sailed into the floating lights in the evening vanished, and never returned. They also mentioned that a ship came from the ocean with no one on it, no sign of a struggle, and devoid of any supplies.
Setting sail on that particular ship, the party waited in the ocean for the lights. The lights turned out to be snake-like humanoids who tried to drown them, but they defeated them. One such creature escaped, and the party followed it in the direction it had fled in, finding an island.
Upon arriving on the island, they took a look around and found a woman swimming in a small body of water. She, too, tried to drown the party, and they defeated her, swiftly. As she died, the world around them changed, and instead of looking like the lush island they’d set foot on, it looked decayed and rotten – as did the woman.
There was a tower on the island, and the party tried to find a way up it, but instead, they found a small corridor containing sacs of green goo. Cutting the sacs open, revealed were the half-decayed bodies of two sailors. They were long dead, and there was nothing else to be found, so the party left to sleep on the ship. When they awoke, the island was gone, and they sailed home to inform the sailors. Ara thought the island was likely linked to the fey.
They told Gnari, who once again sent them out. This time, he sent them north to the village of Hariklif – a town mostly inhabited by halflings, although it was home to a fair few humans. He explained that Hariklif had asked for supplies as they did not have enough to last them the winter. He sent the party on a cart of supplies to the village.
When the party arrived, Prondi – the town’s leader – told them of a sudden crop failure. The crops had been growing one day, and had ceased to grow the next, and had not grown since. The party suspected a blight, Oscar sensing necrotic energy, and Bjørg having heard of such occurences in stories about mythical creatures.
While most of the party investigated some standing stones to the north of the town, they eventually made their way to a crypt. In the crypt was a door sealed from their side, but there was definitely someone inside. Prying away the wood, they discovered a wizard – named Rikkon Zuhl – inside, fighting a ghost who begged for help.
The party aided the wizard, and not the ghost, and the ghost was put to rest. Rikkon explained that someone had likely locked the woman in the crypt, and left her to starve to death. Her horrific death would have then caused her to rise up from her grave and blight the crops so that everyone else would also starve.
The party buried her, and enjoyed a night at the inn, where Rikkon spoke at length with Ara about the joys of magic and wizardry, and invited her to seek him out should she wish to learn more. He also spoke of troubles with giants in the north – at the wall, and troubles with undead in the south – in the swamps of Vhess.
Having succeeded in their task of delivering the supplies, and having ended the blight, the group set off for Vastithorp again. Along the road, they encountered bandits who were being attacked by more of the pale, corpse-like creatures, similar to the ones they’d fought in the orc cave.
They cleaned up the battle, and inspected a large stone head of a demon that decorated a hill along the path. It hadn’t been there on the way to Hariklif, and the route they had taken on the route back had definitely been the one they’d taken on the way there.
Oscar climbed the head, and saw smoke in the distance, coming from Vastithorp, so the party hurried back. Along the way, they ran into orcs who said that the village had come to attack them, so they’d attacked the village. Knocking the orcs out, the party made it back to Vastithorp, where they went to rescue some people from burning buildings. Bjørg went to find Gnari and was arrested on sight.
The rest of the group were eventually apprehended, except for Oscar who ran for the orcs he’d left tied up and unconscious. He roused them, and informed them that the village would come looking for them, and told them to run. The leader of the orc group told Oscar that an old man matching Gnari’s description had come to the cave, attacking his people and provoking a fight.
The guardsman from the village caught up with him shortly thereafter, and escorted him back to the town hall.
In the morning, they were each put on trial. They were informed that the people who’d gone missing in the ocean had returned, and that the orcs had attacked when the party was conveniently out of the village. They were accused of making deals with sea witches, and of conspiring with orcs to attack the village when they were safely out of harms way.
Bjørg lied through her teeth, saying that Asmund was the one who’d made the deal with the sea witch, and that when he’d nearly died upon the ocean, he had promised the sea witch he’d bring about the doom of the village in exchange for her saving his life. She lied that she’d been aware of all this, and that she’d gone along with it because he’d threatened to kill her family if she didn’t, but she explained that Ara and Oscar had been unaware of anything, and that they’d only thought they were helping.
As a result of her lie, Asmund was sentenced to death, and send out into the ocean upon a boat. Bjørg was exiled forever, and Ara and Oscar were each exiled for three years and one day. As they made to leave for the south to deal with the undead issue in the southern swamps of Vhess. Bjørg explained that she would not be going with them, and explained how she’d managed to get the three of them off the hook. She took her leave for the north, and Ara and Oscar left for the south.
Along the road, they encountered someone trying to heal a creature travelling with some orcs, but a communication barrier was standing in the way of it. Oscar translated, and the creature was healed. The orcs explained that they were all that were left of the tribe that had attacked Vastithorp, and Ara and Oscar pointed them in the direction of a safe place to live for a while.
The orcs extended the hospitality of their camp to Oscar, Ara, and the healer, who introduced themself as Æsa.

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